Aurora Innovation Labs founded by former Google & Tesla employee Chris Urmson has struck a deal with both Volkswagen and Hyundai in a push towards building Autonomous Cars. Described as the partnership of the century, Aurora Inc. on Thursday announced separate partnerships with the two auto makers, signaling the emergence of a potential rival to Waymo, the Google self-driving experiment.
At Volkswagen, Aurora will develop cars for Moia, the German automaker’s electric ride-hailing network, and the startup has been testing its self-driving systems with the Audi Q7 model. For Hyundai, Aurora will co-develop a self-driving electric car that runs on fuel cells. Both companies revealed that it plans to make Aurora-powered vehicles commercially available by 2021, and both will start testing prototypes later this year.
The partnership with Volkswagen is currently ahead of the one with Hyundai. Aurora engineers have spent the past 12 months working with the German automakers, and the last six integrating the startup’s software and sensors into the auto giant’s vehicles at its Future Center in Silicon Valley.